Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Secret Origin of Robin! Rare 1969 BATMAN Tale! Ross Andru Art! DC Comics!

Sometimes you stumble across some very odd artifacts when perusing older comics. Below is an oddball little "Robin" short story that was surreptitiously tucked into the pages of what seemed to be yet another semi-regular BATMAN reprint volume, the kind that were common in the late 60s! In this take on the Boy Wonder's beginnings, the editors and writers take past stories, including Robin's original 1940 origin tale, and pick-and-choose the best parts, making one "canonical" final version, a practice most newer fans believe to be only a recent innovation! This senses-staggering story also features odd art by Ross Andru, later to become a long-haul SPIDER-MAN artist for rival Marvel Comics! Ross seems to have been instructed to evoke the look and feel of the "Golden Age" Batman, resulting in some strange drawings of a huge-jawed Caped Crusader and Bruce Wayne, his alter ego! Click below to enlarge each little-seen page!

Those two Batman and Robin figures that flank the title are very impressive, and
show Ross can certainly draw the "modern" Dynamic Duo as they appeared then!

Dig that Batman! Remember that, in 1969, artists were not encouraged to offer
wildly differing interpretations of characters, so imagine how this odd Golden/Silver
Age look seemed to readers at the time!

As artist Andru looks back to the original and more "serious" Batman for this tale, he's
unknowingly predicting the "Dark Knight" version that's about to return to comics, thanks
to Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams!

But, that's not all from this great treat-filled treasure! Even the letter columns were unique then! Dig that first letter, detailing the importance of DC's mags to one stressed family, caught in the midst of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia....

One of the many reprints in the same '69 issue was "the Origin of Clayface," which originally ran in 1961, the same year as the debut of the FANTASTIC FOUR comic from Marvel! Note the similarities of Clayface to the FF's main man-monster, the Thing! Hmmmm...

BONUS! Look below to view the captivating cover that fronted this amazing overstuffed issue! At first glance, the cover art seems to be made up of vignettes direct from each story, but it's really all-new custom artwork by Bill Draut!

1 comment:

Captain Blog said...

Yummy! I have this issue in NM condition and wouldn't sell it for the world! (well, maybe the world!)